Cavaliers breeze past Indians
Published 12:47 am Saturday, November 16, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was showtime for the Callaway Cavaliers.
Callaway, taking on an overmatched Chattooga County team in the opening round of the Class AA state playoffs, eased to a 54-7 victory on a soggy Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
The Cavaliers scored at will in the first half while scoring eight touchdowns, and the second half went quickly with a running clock.
The Cavaliers, who hadn’t played in two weeks, scored on their first play from scrimmage with Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby scoring on a 51-yard run, and they never looked back.
“We had a great off week. I thought it might be the best off week that I’ve been a part of,” said Pete Wiggins, Callaway’s head coach. “Our kids worked. We got better, and then this week the preparation for Chattooga was high. So we came out early, and we executed, and it was just like we practiced. That’s always a great feeling.”
There was a steady rain falling in the first half, but it didn’t bother the Cavaliers.
Demetrius Coleman, Callaway’s outstanding junior quarterback, threw six touchdown passes in the first half, three to Jacob Freeman, two to Antinez Blount, and one to Jalin Shephard.
Callaway also got a pair of touchdown runs from Bigsby, and Javion Parks threw a scoring pass to Carlos Billingslea in the second half.
The Indians scored late in the game to avoid the shutout.
Coleman said the rain didn’t bother the players, who are solely focused on the task at hand, and that’s chasing a state championship.
“When you know what you’re trying to get to, none of that matters,” Coleman said. “You’re trying to get that state (title), so none of it matters. You do whatever to get there.”
As dynamic as the Callaway offense was, the defense continued to stymie opposing teams as well.
The Cavaliers are allowing fewer than 10 points per game, and only a garbage-time score by the Indians kept them from extending their shutout streak to four.
“We come out and just keep going, and keep pushing hard, and get as many zeroes as we can,” said R.J. Williams, a senior linebacker for the Cavaliers.
The fans had barely settled into their seats when the Cavaliers put the game’s first points on the scoreboard, with Bigsby ripping off a 51-yard touchdown run. Blake Eubanks made the first of his six extra points, and the Cavaliers led 7-0.
“When Tank scored that first one, I knew it was going to be a good night,” Coleman said.
He was right.
After the Cavaliers forced a three-and-out, Coleman and Freeman hooked up for a 65-yard touchdown, and the lead was 14-0.
At that point, Coleman said that was to “just keep scoring and keep scoring,” and that’s what the Cavaliers did.
The Indians, needing to find some sort of positive momentum, attempted a fake punt, but it was unsuccessful.
The Cavaliers went right back to work, with Coleman connecting with Freeman for a 20-yard touchdown, making it a 21-0 game with 7:43 to play in the first quarter.
Later in the quarter Bigsby struck again, this time for a 60-yard touchdown run, and the Cavaliers had a 28-0 cushion.
The Cavaliers kept attacking in the second quarter.
With 8:50 left in the first half, Shephard got into the act with a 21-yard touchdown pass, and the lead was 34-0 following an unsuccessful extra-point attempt.
Shephard then got it done on the defensive end with an interception, and Coleman tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Blount to push the lead to 40-0 with 5:40 left in the opening half.
The Cavaliers capped the first-half scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Coleman to Blount, making it a 47-0 game with 2:44 remaining in the first half.
In the second half, with the starters resting on the sideline, the Cavaliers got another touchdown with Parks throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Billinsglea.
“I’m really proud of our offensive line for giving Tank alleys to run, and giving Demetrius time to throw the ball,” Wiggins said. “I thought our wideouts did a great job catching the ball, making plays. Defensively, it was another great performance. They really played fast.”